1000 Words on Moving Day: A Sabbath Meditation


What do you see in this picture?
I see Mormons playing moving truck Tetris. If there is ever an Olympic event for loading a truck, I expect to see three Mormons on the medal stand. We get a lot of practice at this. Many of those boxes weigh somewhere north of a million pounds because they are loaded with books, and Blair took a fair amount of good-natured ribbing. Wisecrack of the day goes to the guy who said “I never knew Blair was a librarian who brings his work home with him”. There were lots of warm hearts and ward smiles on a day that was f-f-f-freezing cold.

It is possible to look back over the history of our church for the last 182 years and see where we have fallen short of the vision outlined by Joseph Smith. He tried desperately to instantiate Zion, but we failed at Kirtland, we failed in Jackson county, we failed at Far West, we failed at Nauvoo, we failed at Orderville and the Brigham City Co-op. Sometimes the City of Enoch seems very far away.

And other times, it jumps up suddenly, right in front of you. None of us knows exactly what heaven looks like, but many, many thanks to the wonderful people — men, women, youth and children — from the Savage Mills, MD ward. I am filing this picture away in my personal folder labeled “Visions of Zion”.


  1. Kevin Barney says:


  2. ^^^^ manifest.

  3. I love this post, Mark, and you.

    Once when a mover was carrying the umpteenth box of books out of our house, my husband said, by way of apology, “What can I say? I married a reader.” The mover’s epic response: “Well, that’s better than marrying an idiot, I guess.”

  4. I have very fond memories of a small ward in the middle of nowhere moving us after we had only been there one year. They had helped us move it…to the point of setting up the beds and hooking up the washer and dryer. They helped us move out…even when it was just me and the 8 littles. Husband was flying in and would be there as little time as possible so we could head out so husband could make it back to work. It was serious tetris because the truck company had made a little mistake and we didn’t get the bigger size truck. Due to our location we didn’t have another option that day, and we didn’t have time to wait.

    books and food storage.

    definitely better than marrying an idiot khristine.

  5. wreddyornot says:

    Memories of how in our youth the ward moving teams helped my wife and I as we ventured forth into the world from our Great Basin upbringings settle sweetly in my soul. In later moves, our employers usually paid the costs and it was very nice but not nearly as sweet or fulfilling.

    Regarding books and weighty matters, when we retired a few years ago and readied ourselves to settle into a couple of comfy locations and maybe do some traveling too, I decided to take the mammoth library of books we’d collected and slice and dice and digitize backups so we could carry it with us on our devices. The dregs of most the books we’d bought and cherished through the years and all those moves now sit in a cellar storage area, but their contents are always a click or a swish away.

    Visions indeed.

  6. “Visions of Zion”


  7. Awesome, Mark.

  8. Great picture and great post Mark. I think I actually prefer the informalized Zion.

  9. A three-dimensional mathematical problem solved with love.

  10. I guess I’m jaded when the first thing I notice is the stack of boxes sitting on the lawn and think… ‘somebody hefted those boxes from inside the house onto the lawn rather than into the truck, creating the need to heft a second time into the truck. What if those boxes had to come down stairs and there was an interim stack at the bottom of the stairs before the interim stack on the lawn!?! All this before the boxes were stacked on the truck!

  11. When my brother’s company hired movers to get him from Florida to Luxembourg, his wife heard the men talking while loading the little food storage they’d have room for – “This is nothing. Have you ever moved Mormons? They’re the worst.”

  12. Left Field says:

    10: You can’t put the boxes directly into the truck because you need a selection of differently-sized and -shaped items to efficiently pack the available spaces.

  13. Great post! My last ward was in a college town, and was the first one my wife had lived in for a long time where I didn’t have a job that required me to work Saturday mornings, which are prime moving time. I was surprised to find how much I enjoyed helping people move in and out. Moves were my social events.

  14. Two things that movers always complain about when they pack us up—food storage and books!

  15. It looks like fun and maybe I’ve been missing out of the last 25 years of moves. I have taken so much control in moving myself, every single time with just my hub and boys and or sometimes a small hired group for the heavy lifting. I don’t like to show my OCD when others are there to be charitable. When you need an OCD packer or organizer… I’m your girl.

  16. Jennifer in GA says:

    Being a military kid and then a military wife, I’m an excellent packer/stacker/mover. Having been on the receiving end, I like to now be on the giving end.

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